It appears the tables have turned.
The San Francisco Giants – winners of two of the last three World Series – are 40-50 and tied with San Diego for last place in the National League West division.
Fox Sports Radio host Seth Everett is not surprised.
“I always thought the Giants were fooling everybody,” Everett said on The John Feinstein Show. “I know (they’re) the defending champs, but in both their years that they won, I always thought they were the sixth- or seventh-best team in baseball. And I said this year (that) given the loss of (Melky) Cabrera, there was no way the role players were going to carry you over (the) course of 162 games. That pitching was going to have to be perfect – (and) it’s been anything but perfect.”
Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, once two of the top pitchers in baseball, have struggled. Cain is 5-6 with a 5.06 ERA, and Lincecum is 4-9 with a 4.61 ERA.
The offense, meanwhile, ranks 23rd in baseball in runs scored.
“They’re the only team in the NL West that I don’t think has a shot (of making the playoffs),” Everett said.
The Los Angeles Dodgers held that dubious distinction just six weeks ago; they were 23-32 entering play June 3, but thanks to Yasiel Puig and a pitching staff on the mend, the Dodgers (45-45) have climbed back to .500 and are just 1.5 games back of division-leading Arizona.
Puig is hitting .394 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs since his major league debut. The Dodgers have since gone 22-13, but Everett doesn’t think Puig is solely responsible for the turnaround.
“I like the story, it’s a fun story (and) I don’t shy away from it,” Everett said. “But they’re the best team in that division on paper. It’s just a matter of time before they were going to make their run.”
The New York Yankees are another team hoping to go on a run. At 49-42, they’ve weathered the season-long injury bug and, at six games back, are within striking distance in the American League East division. Even better, Derek Jeter made his 2013 debut on Thursday – at DH – and legged out an infield single in his first at-bat.
“I think he’ll be a leader, and I think that’s something that team has lacked,” Everett said. “And I give that team a lot of credit for hanging in there. They’ve played really smart baseball. They’ve done a good job of doing a lot with a little. I’m not a huge Joe Girardi fan, but I think he has done his best work. This is easily his best season.”
In other baseball news, it is rumored that suspensions for the Biogenesis scandal will be announced at some point after the All-Star break, possibly later this month.
Everett doesn’t like that Major League Baseball made its investigations so public.
“Baseball should have been doing everything in their power to get this out of the public eye,” he said. “The All-Star Game is nothing but a commercial for their sport. You get more eyeballs on you in three days than you get all season.
“This is baseball’s way of trying to show the media – not even the public, but the media – that they didn’t look the other way in the 90s. They’re saying they are so on top of this that they’re going to leave no stone unturned.”
Everett believes that the steroid era, for all intents and purposes, is over. He likened more stringent drug-testing to speed limits. The speed limit isn’t 65 to prevent people from going 66; it’s to prevent people from going 86.
“Nobody in baseball is doing 86,” Everett said. “The problem is guys are trying to do 66 and 67 and 68. That’s a big difference from the juicing that was going on in the early part of the 2000s and the late-90s.”